When facing a challenge in one part of our life, we tend to ignore the effect it has on the rest. We ‘keep calm and carry on’, and even take pride in not bringing our problem into work, our relationships or any other part of our life. We shrug it off with comments or thoughts like ‘It is what it is”, “It could be worse”, or “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” – or even worse, we don’t acknowledge the effects at all and just keep pushing through. We numb ourselves to what is happening.
But when one part of your life is ‘off’, all parts feel it, and one of the biggest mistakes we make is not paying enough attention to what is going on with us. We don’t check if we are okay. We don’t take care of ourselves.
Taking time to pay attention, process thoughts, feelings, and emotions so they are acknowledged and not shoved down to fester away and connecting with the wisdom and peace of your true self is crucial to taking care of yourself. It is extraordinarily nourishing and healing, and having a practice where I pay profound attention to what is going on with me has meant that I am okay, even when some of the things in my life are not.
Carrying on takes enormous amounts of energy and certainly doesn’t keep us calm! Pushing through, keeping going is exhausting and is not the way to manage challenges. Paying profound attention to the effect, to what is going on with you and processing that through a creative practice makes a huge difference to your life because it really is true that all parts of your life affect all parts of your life.
So perhaps it’s time to drop the mantra of ‘Keep Calm & Carry On’ and actually stop and pay attention?